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Full text of "news update, Southeast Conference, United Church of Christ, May 2011"

Southeast Conference SECUCC News Online Leader Link 



7/3/13 9:17 PM 



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YOU ARE HERE: HOME ► NEWS 



A Word From Tim Downs - May 



Bfln 



Dear Friends, 



"RESTRUCTURING" 



As I write this, we are preparing for the Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference, 
Saturday, June 1 1 , and shortly after this, General Synod, July 1 , in Tampa. One of the 
significant conversations coming to General Synod is one around the restructuring of 
the national setting of the church to introduce a more effective coordination among 
ministries, and focus resources and staff more on mission than governance and 
structure. I believe that other settings of the church will experience the transition as 
one that brings greater coherence to our communications, and more effectiveness in 
the ways in which we coordinate our ministries together, for the building up of the 
United Church of Christ. 




Southeast Conference 

UNITED CHURCH of CHRIST 



UCC News 

UCC Newsroom 

Headlines from the United 
Church of Christ 

A 'Just Peace' future: Part 2 
Following the recently 
concluded World Council of 
Churches' International 
Ecumenical Peace Convocation 
held in Kingston, Jamaica, 
United Church News asked 
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite to 
reflect on the history, progress 
and potential future of the Just 
Peace movement. 



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While this conversation has moved through 
a long and at time tedious process, another 
conversation is beginning to stir which 
might have a significant impact on the lives 
of the 38 conferences of the United Church 
of Christ. Here is a link to account of the 
conversation that was recently on Keeping 
you Posted . In this article, you will see 
uUU 15 5 TILL arcAKINu, accounts of conferences exploring ways to 
share administration, staffing, and programming in various configurations. One 
proposal that may come to General Synod this year calls on the 38 conferences to 
become six. What impact would this have on the Southeast Conference, and what are 
we doing in the way of engaging this conversation in our own setting? 




We too, for many years, have been looking at ways to collaborate with other settings of 
the United Church of Christ to strengthen our ministries and those of the whole church 
in all of its settings. We are a small conference, and our administration at this time is 
lean. There are no natural connections with our neighboring conferences. Many of 
these conferences are at different points in their development than the SEC. However, 
we have recently launched the Center for Progressive Renewal, working with the 
national setting of the UCC and other conferences. We felt that this organization would 
provide a foundation for the entire church to better equip and strengthen its new church 
and renewing church outreach. We are in collaboration with the Center for Progressive 
Renewal and Lancaster Theological Seminary as we prepare to launch Pathways, a 
four-year online program to train lay leaders, and licensed and ordained ministers for 
ministry. This program is expected to begin this fall. We have secured two grants for 
developing Pathways, one from the Fund for Essential Conference Ministries, and the 
other from the Brown Endowment, and are beginning to develop additional grants to 
fund the initial years of the program. 




PROGRESSIVE 

RENEWAL' 



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Southeast Conference SECUCC News Online Leader Link 



7/3/13 9:17 PM 



As we look down the road there may be additional ways in which we can collaborate 
more fully with other settings and conferences of the UCC. We may come to share 
administrative functions, a search and call process, or find other ways in which to share 
programmatic staff. Whatever the future holds for us, my first commitment remains one 
of building up a vital and faithful United Church of Christ. We are living in interesting 
times indeed, and we in the Southeast have been graced with great resources of 
leadership and vision. I look forward to seeking ways in which we can share them with 
others, and perhaps benefit from the openness of others with their resources and staff. 
Join us at the Annual Meeting on Saturday June 1 1 , in Atlanta, and you will hear more 
about these ideas, and have an opportunity to share some of your own! 



Peace, 

Tim DownsTim Downs 

Conference Minister 



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